Shorts Program #3: Night of the Evil Dead
Seven friends and myself attended the ‘Night of the Evil Dead’ short film night at the 5th Annual A Night of Horror film festival. The program consisted of eleven short zombie flicks of varying length and quality. Rather than review them all and give you my opinion I decided to poll my friends to get a more balanced response to the screening… this is the result of that poll. They are in order from the festival website, they did not screen in this order.
Catherine Feeny – People in the Hole (Dir: Keith Rivers / USA / 4 minutes). 1/5 stars The film that polled least was the opening short of the night, a music video for a Catherine Feeny song called ‘People in the Hole’. Catherine is singing away at graveside when a corpse tries to climb out, Catherine helps it and a few more until one of them turns on her and she ends up as one of the living dead. It was well shot but featured way too many aerial shots for whatever reason, maybe someone on the crew knows a helicopter pilot…
Home (Dir: Cameron McCullock / AUS / 12 minutes). 3½/5 stars The second highest points scorer in the poll. This was a great little short about a girl fending off the odd zombie in rural Australia; she reaches a point where she’s had enough and goes into the basement… An excellent lead performance, great SFX and well shot.
Cabine of the Dead (Dir: Vincent Templement / FRA / 10 minutes). 3/5 stars A business man on the run from the undead through a warehouse district backstreets. He hides in a phone booth and calls the Police, his hapless friend and his mother, all to no avail…
Night of the Punks (Dir: Dan Riesser / USA / 19 min). 3/5 stars A punk band arrives at a run-down club for their first ‘road trip’ gig. As the band start to play, demon members of the crowd turn on the other patrons and the band in a feeding frenzy. Very tongue in cheek, we’ve seen it before but it’s done with a sense of humour. Awful acting but who cares? Fun… ish.
Rise of the Living Corpse (Dir: Christopher Walsh / CAN / 1 min). A one-shot visual gag about a corpse rising from beneath the grave… until his rise is cut short. Throwaway fun.
Alice Jacobs is Dead (Dir / USA / 21 min). 3/5 stars The most serious entry of the evening; it was trying to put a different slant on the genre and well done for trying. Adrianne Barbeau is excellent as the titular Alice Jacobs, however John La Zar was so bad as her scientist husband that he really annoyed me. Would have scored more without la Zar…
Zombiefication (Dir: Stefan Lukacs / AUT / 7 min). 2½/5 A fake ‘in flight safety message’ refit delivered to the cinema crowd as a guide to identifying and dealing with zombies in the cinema. Well put together and went over with the majority of the crowd, not so well in our poll.
15:2 (Dir: Brennan Parks / USA / 7 min). 3/5 stars Two paramedics arrive at a deserted dorm building. They’re there to save an overdose victim… he jumps back to life and attempts to eat them. Tongue in cheek with a fun twist that had the cinema laughing.
Tombstone Brides (Dir: Victor Mathieu / USA / 7 min). 2/5 stars Not so great story of a man who apologises at his dead wifes graveside as he is about to remarry… and use the same ring. As he and his new wife start to blow out the thousand candles he’s put around the empty house, his ex-wifes corpse attacks them. Excellent make-up SFX but annoyed me for some reason.
Kidz (Dir: Bren Lynn / CAN / 9 min). 3/5 stars Some kids playing violent shoot-em-up video games tool up after their parents are killed by zombies. They head out into the street and some beheading and shots to the heads of the undead ensues. Fun but one pollster commented that it would have been better if the kids had been killed.
The Living Want Me Dead (Dir: Bill Palmer / USA / 23 min) 4/5 stars The most popular film amongst our group and the best received among the crowd in general. This was a fun take on the genre and was by far and away the best quality flick of the night. Well written, acted and shot. I’d happily buy a copy of this film on DVD… I’ve already joined the facebook page and so should you, show these guys your support here Overall a really fun night, we’ll be back next year.